Bridge back in the swing

The historic Swing Bridge in Longford reopened at the weekend, much to the delight of onlookers. Photo: Lance Hunt

The historic Swing Bridge in Longford reopened at the weekend, much to the delight of onlookers. Photo: Lance Hunt

THE iconic, heritage-listed Swing Bridge in Longford is working once again, following a $160,000 repair project.

The first swing of the newly-repaired bridge took place on Saturday.

About 2500 people visit the bridge each year to see its 46 metre swing span in action, and it will continue to open on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, and on the second Wednesday of every month.

The Swing Bridge has been out of action since it was vandalised in April last year.

A block of wood was wedged inside the gear mechanism, causing an axle to bend and the bottom roller beam to crack.

Specialist engineers provided repair advice, and it was decided to cut out the damaged cast iron sections of the central roller beam and stitch in new cast pieces held in place with a series of specially designed and fitted multi-dumbbell shaped keys and studs.

The repair works also included removal and repair of one bent roller axle.

Wellington Shire mayor Carolyn Crossley said she understood how frustrating the closure was, and appreciated the patience and understanding of boat owners.

"Boaters can begin to enjoy the waterways of the Thomson and LaTrobe Rivers once again, and locals and visitors can see the oldest surviving bridge of its kind in Australia in operation once more," she said.

The scheduled opening times for the Swing Bridge are Saturdays and Sundays between 3pm and 4pm and the second Wednesday of every month between 11am and noon.

Gippsland Senior
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